Dresser into Media Unit

This project repurposes an old dresser to provide extra storage space for all your knick-knacks.

Dresser into Media Unit

This project repurposes an old dresser to provide extra storage space for all your knick-knacks.

Difficulty: Difficult

Protective eyewear
60" × 36" × ½" five-ply maple wood
Tape measure
220-grit sanding blocks
Water and soap
Chop saw
Painter’s tape
3/8" drill bit
Wood putty
Nail gun
1" finish nails
Dresser nobs with matching screws


    Note: If you do not own a chop saw or jig saw, or don’t feel comfortable using one, take the measurements to a local hardware store to have the wood precut

  1. Use the prybar to remove the back of the dresser. Set it aside – don’t discard it

  2. Remove the first row of drawers. Remove the small pieces on the back of the drawers. Lightly tap them with a hammer to knock them out of place. Set aside

  3. After all the small pieces are removed, take out the tracks by unscrewing them and lifting them out of the dresser
  4. Use a jigsaw to cut the two vertical beams, but only on the top row. They should be flush against the first shelf when finished cutting
  5. Knock out the corner triangular pieces by lightly tapping them with a hammer until they come out
  6. Now the top row is clear to become a shelf. Measure the length and depth of the dresser. Mark the measurements on the plywood, and cut to size with a circle saw

  7. Carpenter Tip: Always use a facemask and safety glasses to protect yourself when using a saw.

  8. Slide the plywood into the dresser to make sure the measurements are correct. Adjust the measurements if needed
  9. Slide the plywood into the dresser’s top row. It should be stopped by the vertical pieces in the front. Do not remove these pieces. Instead, mark where the pieces hit the plywood

  10. Measure and mark the depth of the vertical pieces on the plywood, and bring them back to the cutting area. For this particular dresser, the length that needs to be cleared is 2". The width for the two middle pieces is ½", and the width of the two outer pieces is ¾"

  11. Use the jigsaw to cut out these measurements

  12. Bring the plywood back to the dresser to double check that it fits, and then set aside
  13. Remove the hardware from the remaining drawers

  14. Drill a hole in between two preexisting holes, and patch up the preexisting holes with wood putty. Repeat this step for the other drawers

  15. Set the drawers aside. Sand the entire dresser, including the drawers

  16. Dip a rag in soapy water and clean off the dresser to get rid of leftover dirt
  17. Pour the paint into an airbrush container and paint the dresser. If you don’t have an airbrush container, paint the dresser and drawers with a paint roller and paint brush

  18. Let dry for 2 hours and apply a second coat. Let dry overnight
  19. Paint the entire plywood the secondary color with a paint roller. Let dry for 1 hour
  20. Once everything is dry, slide the plywood into the first row to create the shelf
  21. Replace the back of the dresser, and secure it in place with staples every 3"

  22. Carpenter Tip: You can also use a nail gun in place of a staple gun. Just space the finishing nails every 2" rather than 3"

  23. Attach the new hardware to the drawers. For this particular handle, place the screw that it comes with into the predrilled hole and push it through until part of the screw is exposed on the other end
  24. Place the knob onto the screw, and screw into place using a screwdriver. Repeat until all drawers have new hardware

  25. Replace all the drawers in the dresser, and place the dresser in the desired area